The seven-member Expedition 66 crew focused on spacesuits, eye checks and an array of microgravity science aboard the International Space Station today. Meanwhile, the lab’s three visitors filmed a station tour and continued a space biology study.
Maintaining the orbiting lab and its systems is a top priority for NASA and its international partners to keep astronauts safe and continue critical space research. NASA Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei worked in the U.S. Quest airlock cleaning cooling loops inside a pair of U.S. spacesuits. He also prepared suit components for return on the next SpaceX Cargo Dragon mission. Over in the Columbus laboratory module, Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) worked on electrical connections behind an EXPRESS science rack.
Vision and psychology are crucial to space exploration as doctors explore how long-term weightlessness impacts the human eye as well as crew dynamics. NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari took on the crew medical officer role today and scanned NASA Flight Engineer Kayla Barron’s eyes using medical imaging gear. The duo also took turns on a robotics test for the Behavioral Core Measures space psychology study.
Astronaut Thomas Marshburn of NASA also participated in the robotics test that measures crew performance at various points during a mission. The three-time station resident continued working in the Kibo laboratory module setting up hardware that will house rodents for an upcoming visual function study.
The three cosmonauts aboard the station worked on Soyuz activities and conducted Russian research. Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov charged camera batteries inside the Soyuz MS-19 crew ship and tested water samples from Russian drink bags. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov worked on computers and electrical connections in the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Veteran cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin packed hardware inside the Soyuz MS-20 crew ship that will return him and two Japanese space guests to Earth on Dec. 19.
Misurkin also partnered with spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano filming a space station tour. The visiting trio then continued researching how microgravity affects the human circulatory system.
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